127 Hours

Posted by ron On December - 8 - 2010

James Franco literally found himself between a rock and a hard place in 127 Hours

Modern Society predicates itself with life on the go. If you live by the philosophy of work hard, play hard then you understand this drive that human beings feel compelled to push the upper limits of existential existence through their physical, mental, social and/or creative outlets. Within rock climbers and great outdoorsman, weekends engage upon a carefree lifestyle that is beholden to none. It is a life that is enjoyed by an elite class of people who aren’t rich or poor but tThe enjoyment comes from the immediate gratification of accomplishing something that requires mental fortitude and ego of surpassing their own limitations.

However, what happens when anyone hits a wall in the quest for improvement? Human beings universally begin to re-examine their whole life and scrutinize every facet of every choice ever made because no one likes being stuck in one place for a long time. Aron Ralston’s story of 127 Hours begun when he got his arm caught in between a rock and a hard place. The events priors were formalities. The examination of his entire life transformed a physical test of endurance into a delirious metaphysical journey of consequences that epitomized the beauty and power of Danny Boyle’s filmmaking. The linear components of the story didn’t leave an impression but the places Ralston’s mind traveled when his body was helplessly stuck.

Driven by the raw charisma and acting ability of James Franco, he is as convincing as a reckless young, seemingly invincible man who would be beholden to none. Franco drove this film, as it was a one-man show for the most part. While the film doesn’t delve too deeply into Aron’s relationship with his family but he questions his decision to leave a girl in his life. As his dreams merge together and grow more abstract, his emotions are laid bare as his body begins to waste away in the desert. Abstraction never took control of the story as the video camera, water supply, and other elements were used to remind the audience that time continued to tick on.

The film was relentless in reminding the audience that Aron was alone in a vast area. It emphasized that there is no hope of being saved by someone else. The rock that pinned Aron’s arm didn’t have as much character as the shark in JAWS or any other force of nature but it was just as potent a trap that had been waiting since time began to trap him.

Boyle did not hesitate to graphically describe every thing Bryan had to do in order to free himself. It’s beyond a test that most mortal men can pass. By the end of Aron’s ordeal, it’s a release and the audience felt that rush of being free again. Once again, Boyle’s ability to put the audience in a very disturbing situation and have to come out on the other end in order to move forward is unparalleled among today’s directors.

Bear Grylls can eat his heart out. This was a story about the ultimate sacrifice to survive but also about moving forward. The bottom line is, its better to be scarred and moving forward in life than staying in one place and looking back.

In my three liquor rating scale of One Bourbon, One Scotch, and one beer I rated 127 Hours a fine Scotch with a nasty kick but a lingering memory of strength having persevered the unconquerable.


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Thoughts on Cinema is dedicated to film reviews. An uncompromising opinion on the intellectual, artistic, and entertainment value to the consumer. With rising ticket prices, we dedicate ourselves to present to you content regarding what you should or should not be viewing. -Ronald H. Pollock Founder and Editor in Chief



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